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Should You Have a Long or Short Engagement?

Do you know what's right for you?

Contributing Writer
engagement photo beauty tip
Photography by: Essence Photography

After he pops the question and you say yes, everyone else will be asking you another question: When's the wedding? For some couples, the answer is easy—they know they want to get married sooner rather than later. Others want to give themselves a full year to plan and dream. If you're undecided, here are a few things to consider when picking a date for your nuptials.

The First 10 Things You Need to Do Right After You Get Engaged

Long Engagement

 

Pro: Booking Vendors Will Be Easy

When you have close to a year or more to plan a wedding, you won't stress about having to book the vendors right away. You can take your time searching for your dream venue, the perfect dress, and the many other elements that make up a wedding.

 

Con: You May Obsess Over the Details

Long engagements give couples more time to dwell over their decisions, sometimes second-guessing themselves. A bride whose wedding date is a long ways away may also pour over Pinterest and bridal magazines incessantly until she starts nitpicking about the tiniest details. It's much less stressful to make a decision quickly and stick with it.

 

Pro: Guests Have More Time to Prepare

The sooner you snag your wedding location and choose a date, the sooner you can send out save-the-dates, if they're necessary. Giving guests, especially out-of-towners, sufficient notice allows them plenty of time to make travel preparations, arrange time off from work, find a baby-sitter, etc.

 

Con: Wedding Planning Fatigue May Set In

Let's face it: Planning a wedding is exciting but challenging. To-do lists are never-ending, and deadlines (for deposits, final approvals) approach faster than you thought possible. Eventually, some brides get tired of planning her wedding—especially when it's spaced out over many months. 

 

Pro: More Time to Work On Your Relationship

The stress of wedding planning can put a strain on some relationships. Long engagements give couples adequate time to work together under pressure and fix any personal issues before the big day.

Short Engagement

 

Pro: No Time for Changing Your Mind

If you're the type of couple who struggles with making decisions, consider having a short engagement. You may feel stressed working under the tight deadline, but you won't have the chance to expend energy second guessing your choices.

 

Con: Higher Costs

Vendors often offer better rates when you book far in advance, so those getting married in a short time might have to dish out more dough--no discounts--for everything from hiring a caterer to renting a tent.

 

Pro: Less Stress and Pressure Over the Long Run

If you're the type who gets easily overwhelmed, a short engagement may be better for you. Though you'll experience anxiety, it'll be stuffed into a shorter time frame!

 

Con: More Competition for Vendors

When planning on short notice, there's a greater chance that your dream vendors--caterer, photographer, planner--will already be booked, and you'll need to go with your second, third, even fourth choice. 

 

Pro: You'll Be Married Sooner

If you're engaged, chances are that you're eagerly anticipating the start of married life. A shorter engagement time gives you less time to wait, and more time to enjoy being a happily married couple!

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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